Alan French


Alan French, who passed away peacefully Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, was the beloved husband of the late June R. (Anderson) French. He was 84.

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he came to the United States in 1951 and graduated from Hope High School in Providence. A 1956 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in industrial design. He began his professional life at Westinghouse Electric Corporation as a designer in the major appliance division. Over the next 20 years, Alan designed a wide range of products including silverware and stereo equipment but most notably was issued a patent for the design and development of the pneumatic tube airline headset, which revolutionized onboard airline entertainment. He eventually started his own firm, Alan French Design, in Warwick specializing in product and package design.

An Adjunct Professor at RISD since 2001, he was, at the time of his death, on sabbatical from teaching classes for the Industrial Design Department. A member of the Masonic Fraternity, Alan served as master of Harmony Lodge No. 9 F&AM, Cranston in 2006 and as Lodge Secretary from 2010-2017. He belonged to the Scottish Rite Valley of Providence, The Morgan Lodge in England and Commandery Knights Templars.

He is survived by his three children: Leslie J. French-LeComte (husband Kevin) of Littleton, MA, Suzanne French of Warwick and Neil A. French (wife Alyson) of Boston, MA and his three grandchildren: Lindsey Nelson, Emily French and Ian French.

His life will be celebrated at calling hours on Tuesday, November 13 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home & Crematory, 659 East Greenwich Avenue, West Warwick, RI. A Masonic Memorial Service will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Alan’s memory may be made to the Brown University Oncology Research Group (Please make checks payable to Brown University and note "BrUOG" in the memo field and mail your gifts to: BrUOG, Division of Biology & Medicine Brown University, Box G-R001, Providence RI, 02912. Complete obituary and remembrances at


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